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Not quite. They've announced they've formed a committee to explore strategic options: sale, partnerships, licensing (and by extension, taking themselves private). The thing that isn't reported here is that they announced the same thing in early 2012 -- though it is the first time they've explicitly mentioned sale, and they now have one specific bank representing them.

Also of possible interest is Prem Watsa's withdrawal from the board due to conflict of interest - this may hint at Fairfax's direct involvement in sale or other negotations around taking the company private.

In any case, I hope it works out well. With the QNX-based BB10 OS they've caught up to and in some ways surpassed the competition, particularly with recent and upcoming updates.

The problem they face is three-fold: the competition is now too firmly entrenched, making it extremely difficult to get consumer and developer mindshare.

This is compounded by (and in large part caused by) the fact that they waited so long - their legacy BB OS has rendered them largely irrelevant to most people, and that's a huge hurdle to overcome.

Finally, there is a lot of carrier antipathy in the US market. Carriers are doing virtually no supportive marketing, and updates that have rolled out internationally in July won't be out in the US until late September.

Competition is heating up in the low-margin areas outside of the US that have typically bolstered their sales.

Their future is looking pretty uncertain (and I say this as someone who develops BB apps) - a manufacturing or licensing deal could provide them with what they need to keep going.




> This is compounded by (and in large part caused by) the fact that they waited so long - their legacy BB OS has rendered them largely irrelevant to most people, and that's a huge hurdle to overcome.

BB users are also a strange lot. The ones I know at least tend to be very conservative about their equipment choice. Hauling around 6 or 7 year old BBs because newer ones move the icons around or they don't like the keyboards or what have you. They want exactly the experience they have right now and nothing else. I've known a half dozen who bought and returned both Androids and iPhones (trying to get with modernity a little) pretty much because they weren't BBs...or at least all of their problems with the other two phones were why this or that wasn't like it was on their BB.

This has been a very big problem for Blackberry. They invest in finally modernizing and updating their hardware and software, but everybody who's not already a BB user has moved on, and the ones who've remained don't want the new stuff because it's not just exactly what they already have.

Their only chance would have been to capture the non-conservative parts of the market before they left years ago. That boat set sail long ago.

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